Tag Archives: namaan

Hard Problems. Simple Tasks.

Have you ever studied for a test, but the questions weren’t what you thought they’d be? You thought for sure the teacher would ask about all these other things, but they didn’t. It may not have been a difficult test, but what they asked didn’t make sense. I’ve had God test me like that. I hear Him ask me to do something that doesn’t make sense, and then I question whether it was from God. “Surely He would ask me to do something else,” I think. Sometimes what He asks of us isn’t difficult. It just doesn’t make sense. 

In the early part of II Kings, God spoke through Elisha and asked some people to do things that didn’t make sense. A widow owed her husband’s debts and the collectors were coming for her sons. Elisha told her to borrow bottles and fill them with what little oil she had. The Shunemite woman’s son died and Elisha told his servant to go put his staff on the boy’s face. There was also a pot of stew that had been made with poisoned gourds in it. Elisha threw a handful of flour in it and it was fine.

One of the most famous though was a man named Namaan in chapter 5. He had leprosy and went to see Elisha. Elisha sent his servant out to tell him to dip in the Jordan river seven times and he’d be healed. Namaan left angry. In verse 13 one of his servants asked, “If the prophet had told you to do something difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So shouldn’t you certainly obey him when he simply says, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” (NLT) Namaan went and washed and was healed. 

In each of these cases, it didn’t make sense. I think that God asks us to do things different than we expect to test our obedience. God simply wants simple obedience. If He asked us to do something that gave us the answer, we would begin to think it was what we did. When the instructions have nothing to do with it and we obey, it can only be God who answered. Whatever God is asking for you, it may not be about the problem. It could be about your heart. Simply obey and let God do His thing. 

Thanks to @mhdnohassi for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Hard Problems. Simple Tasks.


Have you ever studied for a test, but the questions weren’t what you thought they’d be? You thought for sure the teacher would ask about all these other things, but they didn’t. It may not have been a difficult test, but what they asked didn’t make sense. I’ve had God test me like that. I hear Him ask me to do something that doesn’t make sense, and then I question whether it was from God. “Surely He would ask me to do something else,” I think. Sometimes what He asks of us isn’t difficult. It just doesn’t make sense. 

In the early part of II Kings, God spoke through Elisha and asked some people to do things that didn’t make sense. A widow owed her husband’s debts and the collectors were coming for her sons. Elisha told her to borrow bottles and fill them with what little oil she had. The Shunemite woman’s son died and Elisha told his servant to go put his staff on the boy’s face. There was also a pot of stew that had been made with poisoned gourds in it. Elisha threw a handful of flour in it and it was fine.

One of the most famous though was a man named Namaan in chapter 5. He had leprosy and went to see Elisha. Elisha sent his servant out to tell him to dip in the Jordan river seven times and he’d be healed. Namaan left angry. In verse 13 one of his servants asked, “If the prophet had told you to do something difficult, wouldn’t you have doe it? So shouldn’t you certainly obey him when he simply says, ‘Go and wash and be cured!'” (NLT) Namaan went and washed and was healed. 

In each of these cases, it didn’t make sense. I think that God asks us to do things different than we expect to test our obedience. God simply wants simple obedience. If He asked us to do something that gave us the answer, we would begin to think it was what we did. When the instructions have nothing to do with it and we obey, it can only be God who answered. Whatever God is asking for you, it may not be about the problem. It could be about your heart. Simply obey and let God do His thing. 

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Spectacularly Ordinary

Have you ever been looking forward to something and had a great expectation for it? In your mind, you imagined it to be a certain way and then the reality let you down? You had built it up so much in your mind and played it over and over so many times that when it came down to it, you felt disappointed. In II Kings 5, Namaan was guilty of that same thing. He had a skin disease and was told of a great prophet who could heal him. He had his expectation of what the healing would be like.

In his mind, he had pictured the entire scene of how his healing would come about.. He imagined a quirky, old man would emerge from the house, pray loudly to His God, make a big show with his hands to create a dramatic presentation and then heal him. As his entourage pulled up in front of the prophets house, it was just as he had pictured it. He was giddy with excitement. He was ready for the show. As he stepped out of his carriage, a young man, dressed on servants clothes, came out to meet him instead.

The servant said, “Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of leprosy.” Namaan felt like a balloon whose air had just been let out. All those dreams and expectations just fell flat. Instead of being excited that he was going to be healed, he got angry and upset. He thought it was too simple and too ordinary. Why should he have to come all that way to bathe in a dirty river? Why couldn’t he bathe in a clean river where he would at least be clean afterwards?

He was looking for the show more than the healing. I wonder if that’s how we are today? We’d rather go to a church that puts on a show, entertains us, creates magic on stage and then brings spiritual healing. When we walk into a church where the Gospel is presented clearly and plainly, we get upset. We think there should be more. We forget it’s about the message and not all the other things that are cool. I’m not against doing those things, but are we more interested to see what the pastor does next than we are to hear the Word of God?

What about in our own lives? Are we looking for the spectacular moves of God while missing Him in the mundane? God does amazing things for each of us every day. We arrive to work safely, we get a paycheck at the end of the week, that song comes on the radio at just the right time, a friend sends a text at just the right moment. Our God does extraordinary things in ordinary ways. Are we missing it because we are looking for the extraordinary? Namaan almost did. Fortunately, he took a bath at the servants request and was healed. He learned that God doesn’t have to go over the top to do something spectacular.

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